Company culture can be a tough thing to nail.
While it's always tempting to play follow-the-leader, it's tough to copy/paste something as unique and fluid as culture. Developing a strong corporate culture is more a matter of finding the right focus for your business — but a little inspiration never hurts.
Here are 11 leading companies who built unique working cultures from the ground-up.
Netflix unapologetically (even ruthlessly) builds its unique working culture entirely around talent.
The revolutionary company seeks only the most talented employees and will send “adequate performers” home with a “generous severance package” to help them find new employment. Ouch. But on the flipside, Netflix empowers the talent they hire with unlimited vacation time, tons of creative control, and very little micromanaging. They cultivate talent with policies of open discussion and honest but respectful feedback. If you've got the talent, why not step aside and let them work?
AgileThought was named #16 on Fortune's Best Small and Medium companies to work for. The 213-person IT company strives for a fun above all else, with little distance between the CEO and employees. AgileThought gives employees plenty of perks, including snacks, beverages, playrooms and massages, on top of standard benefits like PTO, 401k, medical, and dental. But the real cultural insights are in the little things. According to CEO Dave Romine, his favorite part of working in the AgileThought office is the laughter.
It seems like everything Asana does is meant to recognize and lift up their employees. They have some pretty unique awards, like the orange narwhal, benefits that cover 100% of insurance premiums, built-in mentorship, daily yoga sessions, and three free meals. And the way they do performance reviews is all about letting go of ego to get the most honest and objective feedback possible. It's all about peace, love, and merit-based insights.
Management consulting firm Point B believes work and life go hand-in-hand. They even go as far as to say that the company “exists for the benefit of [its] people.” And indeed, employees at Point B get stock options in the company, making it employee owned. CEO Mike Pongon makes employees feel appreciated the old-fashioned way. He goes out of his way to interact with employees through simple hallway conversations, lunches and happy hours, and face-to-face meetings to learn everything he can about them. No wonder the company topped Fortune’s list for top 100 Best Medium Workplaces
Like Point B, West Monroe is an employee-owned business that focuses on giving its workers a lot of responsibility and trust. West Monroe is a business and technology consulting firm that focuses on a blend of diverse voices and workers to match its “uncommon blend of business-savvy consultants and technical experts.”
Zappos puts together a workplace that’s hard to believe. The online shoe retailer has a 10-point culture guide that focuses on surprising and delighting its customers, along with fostering employee creativity, positivity, growth, and weirdness. Zappos has a ton of great standard benefits as well as a campus with a gym, life coach, nap room, sand-floored conference room and more.
It might surprise you to see an airline on the list but Southwest is dedicated to being the best, making its mission to be the most beloved and profitable airline around. And to be the best, that's exactly what the company asks from its workers, putting, “strive to be the best” right at the top of its values list. To help workers be the best, Southwest offers some cool training perks like leadership development programs, letting employees spend time in other departments, and tuition reimbursement.
Lessonly is a small 105-person startup and employee training platform. At Lessonly their employees’ dedication does the talking. They give employees unlimited time off and the option to work from home out of trust for their employees love for the company. Lessonly believes the employees make the business and the culture.
This mattress company was made off the back of a bad experience with an expensive mattress that did not live up to the hype. Ever since, Tuft & Needle puts high-priority on integrity—a smart move for any business in e-commerce. Tuft & Needle moves away from a lot of fun and glitzy perks and instead focuses on tried and true benefits like paternal leave and PTO.
Ray Dalio is a guy with a relentless focus on performance. The multi-billionaire hedge fund investor, founder of Bridgewater and author of #1 New York Times Best-Seller, Principles, leads with a philosophy of radical truth and thoughtful disagreement in order to create meaningful work and great outcomes. Bridgewater's not a place where you can go in and expect to keep your head down, maybe that's why it has over $160 billion in assets.
Last but not least, CARFAX puts it's people first by minimizing policy and paperwork as much as possible. They focus on building a shared vision to help their people be even more amazing. And of course, with video games, a putting green and all kinds of outdoor activities, there's plenty of fun in the mix, too.